After a roller-coaster four month season, March Madness officially begins Sunday with the 2012 NCAA Selection Show and the setting of the field of 68.
For the two Dallas-area Big 12 teams, the bracket means different things. Baylor, after a surprising run to the Big 12 Championship Game, is playing their best basketball of the season, and they'll be watching to see what seed line they fall on and who their possible second weekend opponents will be.
According to SB Nation's Chris Dobbertean, the Bears are projected as a No. 3 seed in the tournament. They'll be competing for a spot on the seed line against the likes of Michigan, Marquette and Georgetown.
Texas, meanwhile, after sitting on the bubble for most of 2012, appears safe after their win over Iowa State in the first round of the Big 12 Tournament. With a 20-13 record and four wins over top 50 teams (Iowa State twice, Kansas State and Temple), the Longhorns appear to have done just enough to extend coach Rick Barnes' streak of 13 consecutive NCAA Tournament appearances.
Dobbertean currently has Texas as the first of the last four team in the field of 68:
Texas (20-13, 10-10 Big 12, RPI: 48, SOS: 19, non-conf. SOS: 23)
Pros: Four Top 50 wins, all at home, with the best coming against Temple. Strong computer numbers, particularly regarding scheduling.
Cons: Overall 4-11 record against the Top 100 isn't great, although every game was against a Top 50 team. Lost to N.C. State in New Jersey in November. Two bad losses (at Oklahoma State and to Oregon State, also at the Meadowlands).
Two other area schools will be in the post-season but not the NCAA Tournament.
TCU's late season run at an at-large berth ended in the first round of the Mountain West Tournament, but with a 17-14 record and multiple wins over ranked opponents should be enough to get them a spot in the NIT. A post-season berth would be a big step for Jim Christian's program, which didn't have a winning record in his first three years in Fort Worth.
UT-Arlington, meanwhile, is guaranteed a berth in the NIT due to winning the Southland Conference regular season championship.
When: March 11 at 5 PM Central
For more Bracketology be sure to check out Blogging The Bracket. For more college basketball news and notes head on over to SB Nation's College Basketball page.